Aerosoles Eyes Reverse Logistics

Footwear company selects Newgistics' returns management service to improve customer support program

San Francisco  June 2, 2003  Footwear company Aerosoles will use a returns management service provided by Newgistics in a bid to improve the company's customer support program.

Edison, N.J.-based Aerosoles has about 500 employees and sells its shoes in more than 80 U.S. retail stores, online, through the Aerosoles catalog and in North American department and specialty stores.

The company will implement Newgistics' SmartLabel service for its catalog and online customers beginning this month. The SmartLabel service includes a pre-paid, pre-addressed return shipping label on the customer's packing slip received with their merchandise. A barcode links the package to the customer's invoice and provides package visibility to Aerosoles early in the returns process.

Newgistics says that the service enables customer service representatives to proactively address customers' exchange or credit needs, which can result in increased customer satisfaction and loyalty while improving Aerosoles visibility to and control over the returns process.

"Exceptional customer service is a cornerstone of the way we do business," said Robert Garris, vice president of direct marketing for Aerosoles. "Adding convenient methods for returning products makes sense, especially when  with SmartLabel  we can also gain operational efficiencies."

Garris added that the Newgistics' return service would help reinforce the convenience of the Aerosoles shopping experience for the company's customers.

Product returns in the catalog and online retail industry can total 5-25 percent of sales, depending on the type of items sold, while over 44 percent of consumers do not purchase direct due to the perception surrounding returns, and 46 percent who purchased direct will decrease buying due to a difficult returns process, according to industry reports. Meanwhile, 75 percent of consumers say they will buy more from a retailer if the returns process is convenient and easy-to-use, according to a 2002 benchmark study on consumers' attitudes toward returns.

Newgistics says that retailers typically see a 70 percent usage of the SmartLabel returns service within 150 days of launch.

For more information on reverse logistics, see "The Reverse Logistics Revenue Opportunity" (iSourceonline, December 9, 2002), "Reverse Logistics Roundup" (iSourceonline, January 16, 2003), and "Neiman Marcus Eyes Simplified Returns" (iSourceonline, February 18, 2003).

iSource Business has included reverse logistics in Version 5.0 of its Global Enabled Supply and Demand Chain Map under Customer Relationship Management.